With Mick Mulvaney in place as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the White House's budget office has drafted a list of popular Democratic-backed programs that President Donald Trump could kill off while trimming government spending.
The programs could include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Legal Services Corporation, just part of a nine-program list Mulvaney's office has compiled, reports The New York Times Saturday.
“It’s sad in a way because those programs aren’t causing the deficit,” Steve Bell, a former staff director for the Senate Budget Committee now with the Bipartisan Policy Center, told The Times. "These programs don’t amount to a hill of beans.”
The programs included each cost under $500 million a year out of the government's $4 trillion budget, with a total of about $2.5 billion in savings expected.
The list contains some agencies that could help with Trump's key agenda items. For example, the list includes the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which awards grants to reduce drug trafficking and abuse, but Trump has often spoken out against national drug problems.
The Export-Import Bank is also on the list, despite Trump's call to promote American exports. The bank had been guaranteeing loans for American companies' foreign customers since the 1930s, The Times notes.
According to an internal memo from the Office of Management and Budget obtained by The Times, the initial list could change, and plans for cuts in several cabinet-level agencies are expected to be added.
Trump has long promised to cut government agencies' spending while protecting programs for working-class Americans and expanding military and infrastructure spending.
An unnamed source told The Times that officials plan to speak with the agencies on the chopping block before next Friday and to finalize the list by March 13. The White House has not commented about the proposed cuts, but Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this month the Trump administration plans to release its detailed budget within a few weeks.
Trump and Republicans share a call to increase military spending, but defense and domestic spending are capped under the Budget Control Act of 2011. Democrats will likely fight lifting the caps for the military unless caps are also lifted for domestic spending, reports The Times.
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